Lack of transparency in budget process frustrates Republicans, advocates

by Sophie Nieto-Munoz, New Jersey Monitor It’s budget season in New Jersey, which means bills unveiled at the last minute, amendments added on the fly, and hours spent waiting for a massive budget bill, only for it to be voted on just 25 minutes after it was revealed to lawmakers for the first time. AContinue reading “Lack of transparency in budget process frustrates Republicans, advocates”

Governor Murphy signs $50.6B budget, largest in state history

by Sophie Nieto-Munoz, New Jersey Monitor Gov. Phil Murphy signed the $50.6 billion state budget into law, a spending plan that includes the largest property tax relief program in over a decade, full payment to the state’s public worker pension fund for the second year in a row, and a surplus of more than $6 billion.  AnContinue reading “Governor Murphy signs $50.6B budget, largest in state history”

Dîner en Blanc takes New Jersey

Atlantic City became the latest metropolis to participate in Dîner en Blanc, a worldwide event spanning six continents in which people have a meal dressed in white in a temporary dining setup in a public space. Diners were required to provide their own food, tables, chairs and tablecloths but about 2500 people participated in theContinue reading “Dîner en Blanc takes New Jersey”

Treasurer says state tax revenue collections are up nearly $7 billion

The state Department of the Treasury reported that May revenue collections for the major taxes totaled $3.282 billion, down $2.072 billion, or 38.7 percent, below last May. The dip was expected due to the fact that the deadline for filing individual income tax returns was postponed to May 17 last year, creating a surge inContinue reading “Treasurer says state tax revenue collections are up nearly $7 billion”

New Jersey man convicted of child pornography

A Middlesex County man was convicted of several counts involving images of child sexual abuse, announced today. Charles Francis Browne Jr., of South River, New Jersey, was found guilty on June 27, 2022, following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court of receiving child pornography, soliciting child pornography,Continue reading “New Jersey man convicted of child pornography”

Lawsuit exposes Mayor Reed Gusciora’s racist & sexist influence over police

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said Trenton Police Director Sheilah Coley was “extremely qualified,” in an April 2019 news release issued when she was hired as the first African-American woman to lead a New Jersey police department. Now, Coley is suing the mayor and other city officials for firing her as retaliation for her refusal toContinue reading “Lawsuit exposes Mayor Reed Gusciora’s racist & sexist influence over police”

Central New Jersey medical facility and temporary staffing agency fined

A Central New Jersey medical facility and temporary staffing agency failed to ensure the safety and health of nurses giving flu shots and testing potentially infectious patients for the coronavirus earlier this year, a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation has found. OSHA’s investigation – initiated in January in response to a complaintContinue reading “Central New Jersey medical facility and temporary staffing agency fined”

Attorney General says Supreme Court did not allow handguns in New Jersey

While the Supreme Court decision prevents New Jersey from continuing to require a demonstration of justifiable need in order to carry a handgun, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said it does not eliminate the enforcement of other permitting requirements under state law. Platkin issued a directive clarifying requirements after the U.S. Supreme Court struck downContinue reading “Attorney General says Supreme Court did not allow handguns in New Jersey”

Newark man sentenced to 5 years for drug conspiracy & firearm possession

An Essex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced this week to 60 months in prison for his role in a fentanyl conspiracy, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. Jaqua Clayton, aka “Quay,” 23, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty via videoconference before U.S. district Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him withContinue reading “Newark man sentenced to 5 years for drug conspiracy & firearm possession”

N.J. Bar Association weighs lawsuit to fill judicial vacancies

by Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Monitor The New Jersey State Bar Association is engaging constitutional scholars as it considers a lawsuit to force lawmakers to fill an unprecedented number of judicial vacancies that have entirely stopped certain types of trials in most of New Jersey’s counties. The bar has not decided yet whether it willContinue reading “N.J. Bar Association weighs lawsuit to fill judicial vacancies”

Illegal campfire started N.J.’s largest wildfire in 15 years, fire official says

by Dana DiFilippo, New Jersey Monitor A wildfire in Wharton State Forest — the biggest to hit New Jersey in 15 years — is burning in an area state environmental officials have warned is most at-risk for forest fires statewide. An illicit campfire ignited the blaze Sunday morning that has since spread to about 13,500Continue reading “Illegal campfire started N.J.’s largest wildfire in 15 years, fire official says”

Grandmother sentenced to prison for bilking Social Security and Medicare

Martha Aguilar, formerly of Middletown, New Jersey, was sentenced to 28 months in prison for defrauding the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Social Security and Medicare benefits. Aguilar, 60, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to Count Three of a superseding indictment chargingContinue reading “Grandmother sentenced to prison for bilking Social Security and Medicare”

Trenton man pleaded guilty as leader of a drug-trafficking organization

An alleged Bloods gang member today admitted his role as the leader of a Mercer County, New Jersey, drug-trafficking organization responsible for the distribution of heroin in the Trenton area, announced. Robert M. Gbanapolor, 35, of Trenton, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to a superseding indictment charging him withContinue reading “Trenton man pleaded guilty as leader of a drug-trafficking organization”

America’s newest federal holiday is Juneteenth but it is catching on

Americans today observe the nation’s newest federal holiday – Juneteenth, which was only recognized officially last year. The origins and recognition of Juneteenth are significant to our nation but the new holiday is subject to some growing pain, as for only the second time ever, New Jersey will celebrate it as a state holiday on FridayContinue reading “America’s newest federal holiday is Juneteenth but it is catching on”

Program links law enforcement with systems of care for addicted children

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer, and Department of Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced the launch of a new pilot program to train law enforcement officers and community stakeholders on how to recognize and interact with children and families affected by addiction and connect them withContinue reading “Program links law enforcement with systems of care for addicted children”

Critical race theory advocacy hurts Tom Kean Jr. in his GOP primary campaign

Republican state Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr. is hoping to navigate a Tea Party-tough conservative primary that is increasing in complexity with his liberal “It’s My Party, Too” approach that includes sponsoring New Jersey’s most ambitious critical race theory law but the approach is not gaining much support among GOP voters. In the 1980s, theContinue reading “Critical race theory advocacy hurts Tom Kean Jr. in his GOP primary campaign”

Liberal like father, liberal like son

In the 1980s, Governor Tom Kean Sr. advocated ‘the politics of inclusion’ and his son, Senator Tom Kean Jr. is now New Jersey’s leading Republican advocate for ‘critical race theory’ education Republican state Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr. is hoping to navigate a Tea Party-tough conservative primary that is increasing in complexity with his liberalContinue reading “Liberal like father, liberal like son”

Good government group offers ideas for selecting Supreme Court justices

As fears rise over the possibility of radical extremism after Republicans packed the nation’s top judicial panel—notably with three members appointed by disgraced former President Donald Trump—the Task Force on Federal Judicial Selection convened by The Constitution Project at POGO recently released a report assessing the process for selecting Supreme Court justices and recommending reforms to reduceContinue reading “Good government group offers ideas for selecting Supreme Court justices”

Bomb threat closes Middlesex County Administration Building

A bomb scare in central New Jersey was one of many reported around the country on Monday, but authorities have not reported if there is any connection. Early Monday morning, the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department was made aware of a bomb threat concerning the Superior Court chambers located at 50 Paterson Street and 120 NewContinue reading “Bomb threat closes Middlesex County Administration Building”

Justice protecting our right to vote

The public may call the U.S. Attorney’s Office Election Hotline at 888-636-6596 to report threats against voters, threats against election workers, or any other activities that would interfere with a citizen’s right to vote in New Jersey’s November 2, 2021 general election. Early voting began in New Jersey on Saturday, October 23, 2021 and continuesContinue reading “Justice protecting our right to vote”